Tuesday, October 21, 2008


    "Backwards and downwards, the laughter and the cigar. For long durations, there was nothing else. This was all of himself that he possessed, all of himself that he'd been able to find, nothing but the memory of three words, of a sudden glory and of the slobbered cylinder of tobacco, but it sufficed. The knowledge was delightful and reassuring.
   "Meanwhile, on fringes of awareness, the light still lingered, and suddenly between two rememberings, he perceived that it had somehow changed.
   "In the beginning, the brightness had been everywhere and everywhere the same, a shiny powder, boundless and uniform, and essentially, it was still without flaw, still indeterminate. And yet while it remained what it had always been, it was as though that calm boundlessness of bliss and knowledge had been limited by the interpenetration of an activity, an activity that was at the same time a pattern, a kind of living lattice, ubiquitous, infinitely complex, exquisitely delicate, a vast ubiquitous web of beknottedness and divergences, of parallels and spirals, of intricate figures and their curiously distorted projections, all shining and active and alive.
   "Once more, his single fragment of selfhood came back to him, the same as ever, but in some way associated this time with a particular figure in that bright lattice of intricate relationships, located, as it were, on one of its innumerable nodes of intersecting movement.
   "Backwards and downwards, and then a sudden glory of laughter."

-- from Time Must Have A Stop, by Aldous Huxley

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